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Glassdoor Reveals The Best Universities To Work For (2012); BYU Takes #1 Spot

Education is a hot topic for voters this election season, second only to the economy according to an Associated Press-GfK poll. So while the presidential candidates debate the rising cost of higher education and schools continue to face budget cuts, how do many of the nation’s largest universities and colleges compare as employers? What do professors to administrative staff really have to say about working at these universities?

Glassdoor, the leading social jobs and career community, has turned to university employees themselves to compile its second annual University Report Card, offering an inside look at what it’s really like to work at approximately 50 of the nation’s largest colleges and universities over the past year:

Top Rated Universities

Brigham Young University takes top honors as the #1 university to work for (up from its #3 ranking on the 2011 list) with its 4.2 (very satisfied) rating, followed by Caltech (California) (4.2, very satisfied), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (4.2, very satisfied), University of Delaware (4.1, very satisfied), and Carnegie Mellon University (4.1, very satisfied). Interestingly, no Ivy League university cracks the top 10 as an employer, though several Ivy League universities do crack the top 10 on annual ‘Best College’ lists published by Forbes and U.S. News & World Report. The University of Pittsburgh is most improved as an employer year over year, as the university saw its rating increase by .7 to its 3.8 (satisfied) rating in 2012. Ratings based on a 5-point scale: 1.0=very dissatisfied, 3.0=OK, 5.0=very satisfied.

Top Rated Presidents

Four university presidents share the top spot, each receiving a perfect 100% approval rating, according to employees, including Stanford University’s John L. Hennessy, University of Maryland’s Wallace D. Loh, University of Pennsylvania’s Amy Gutmann and Yale University’s Richard C. Levin. Washington University’s Mark S. Wrighton rounds out the top 5 with his 96% approval rating. Stanford University’s John L. Hennessy saw his approval rating improve the most year over year, increasing 12 percentage points to a 100% approval rating, while Georgia Tech’s Bud Peterson saw his approval rating decline the most year over year, decreasing 11 percentage points to an 89% approval rating.

University Employees Are Generally Satisfied

While the average company rating on Glassdoor is a 3.1 (OK), based on approximately 210,000 companies featured on Glassdoor, each of the universities on this list received a rating of 3.7 (satisfied) or higher from their employees. One University of Wisconsin Employee (Madison, WI) shared this comment about working for the university, which received a 3.7 (satisfied) rating: “I like coming to work, I enjoy the people I work with, and I love what I do. We are definitely making the right steps to progress forward and make this a better place, and a more rewarding place, to work.”

Check out this year’s Top 10: 

So what do employees have to say about working at some of these top 10 universities?

The staff is very friendly and easy to work with. BYU as a whole is very focused on its students and bettering the generation of tomorrow, that’s something I can be proud to be a part of.” – BYU Employee (Provo, UT)

The benefits package is very good. People are passionate about the scientific research they’re doing and have a personal mission to advance knowledge around the world. Relaxed atmosphere usually.” – Caltech (California) Software Developer (Pasadena, CA)

Environment provides a lot of latitude to develop and grow expertise and to make “the job your own”. Extremely flexible environment provided you take care of your work duties. Very pleasant and knowledgeable colleagues.” – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Lecturer (Urbana, IL)

Excellent opportunities to gain subject knowledge, opportunity to take initiative, outstanding colleagues.” – University of Delaware Employee (location n/a)

People working here are great and there is a great atmosphere for getting help. When a problem arises, the staff likes to think of the problem as shared responsibility which leads to everyone being supportive and effective in creating solutions.” – Carnegie Mellon University Employee (Pittsburgh, PA)

Check out this year’s complete results: 

Do you work at a college or university? Share a review and let others know what it’s like to work in higher education.